Today was the day chosen for the inaugral WS Racers vs WOW Regatta at Chipstead. Recently we have had some good sailing days where wind and sun arrived in sufficient quantities to make us all think “It is great to be alive and sailing!!” But today was wet and overcast. The boats were launched and rigged between 0800 and 0930 in the rain. It stopped raining whilst the volunteers had a coffee and their daily Briefing and the Racers arrived from 1000 onwards. The Race Briefing was at 1015 and the entrants started getting out on the water soon afterwards. There was just sufficient wind to produce some ruffles on the surface of the lake and allow the dinghies to move about.

Paul Cove, who had agreed to stand in for Bruce Hebbert as Race Officer at the last moment, called the Racers to order at 1055 and he sounded the 3 minute Gong at 1100 with the WOW fleet starting at 1103 and the WS fleet starting at 1106. The wind was just sufficient to enable the WOW fleet to be rounding the first Mark (A) before the WS fleet started – or could have started if there had been any wind. But that took some time to happen and the rain which had been a steady drizzle since 1045 then decided to pour down on everybody. This further flattened the wind but gradually both fleets managed to make some progress. Not a lot, but some.

Initially there had been some discussion in the Race Hut as to running a second race but – as the time ticked by – it became obvious that we would be fortunate to complete a single race. And that was how the end-of-season Regatta ended.

Once all the entrants were off the water and in the clubhouse and guests from the Sevenoaks Lions and other supporters had arrived, Paul Chivers, the WS Trustee responsible for Racing, called the room to order so that the End-of-Season 2022 Awards Ceremony for WS Racers could start… can be seen below.

A packed clubhouse for the awards

Paul Cove (Race Officer for the Regatta) gave the Results of the Regatta in reverse order and it soon became clear that the wining Team would be WOW who had finishers in 1st, 2nd and 4th places versus WS finishers in 3rd, 7th and 9th places.

The Race Result was:

1st Jane Marshall – WOW; 2nd Polly Colesmith – WOW; 3rd Mark Cayzer and his crew – WS; 4th “Joan” Taylor Inge WOW; 5th Kay Mathieson – WOW; 6th Meg Warren – WOW; 7th Kim Sparkes – WS; 8th Maggie Bolton – WOW; 9th Peter Wagner – WS; 10th Mark Rainbow – WS.

Paul Chilvers presented a Certificate and a Winner’s trophy to “Joan” Taylor Inge as the Skipper of the Winning Team and Paul presented a bottle of wine to Jane Marshall who had come 1st overall in her Topper.

David Mckee (Chair of WS Trustees) presented Cups and Certificates covering the season’s sailing as follows:

  • Brian McCormick Cup – Best Liberty Sailor – Derek Preston
  • Bob Marsh Cup – Best 2.3 Sailor – Ann Frewer – who was not able to be present
  • Access 303 Single-handed – Best sailor – Steve Farmer
  • Access 303 Double-handed – Best sailor – Imogen Fletcher

Alan Walter (Chair of Sevenoaks Lions Welfare Committee) was then invited to say a few words about the Lions organisation and how the local chapter had “found” Wealden Sailabaility. Alan then presented two Cups which the Lions had themselves donated:

  • Most improved client sailor – Mark Cayzer
  • Most improved volunteer sailor – Steve Trudge

Derek Preston, Steve Farmer, Imogen Fletcher and Steve Trudge all gave heartfelt testimonials about how much WS meant to them and thanked everybody.

Paul Chilvers congratulated all the winners and thanked the WS and Lions Chairs before closing the ceremony.

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